recruit with real people: the zappos culture book

By in Culture, Great Work, and Work We Love
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corporate culture

I first heard about Zappos more than a decade ago. One of my male colleagues was a shoe fanatic. He had more pairs of shoes than our department of eight combined.

“Zappos has an unbelievable selection of shoes,” he said to me as we had lunch one day. “And… they have free shipping!”

Thanks to his recommendation, I’ve purchased a few pairs of shoes from Zappos, too. (Free shipping!)

But more importantly, in the last ten years I’ve read numerous stories about what makes this company one of the most recognized brands when it comes to relentless innovation, outstanding leadership, employee engagement, and stellar customer service.

I recently found another reason to appreciate Zappos: their annual Culture Book. It’s a collection of submissions written by employees. The topic? What the Zappos culture means to them.

On Zappos’ website, they explain the concept behind the Zappos Culture Book:

As we started to grow, we asked ourselves, how can we sustain this culture? How can we remember it while simultaneously inspiring ourselves for the next year? Our answer was the culture book. It’s packed with each employee’s idea about our culture, as well as photos, our core values and more. 

By its very existence the Zappos Culture Book inspires trust, encourages engagement and cultivates a sense of community and culture. But it’s also a very organic and wonderful way of recruiting and retaining top talent.

This book isn’t a polished website with stock photos of smiling executives inviting you to join the ranks of their Fortune 100 Company. It’s not a booth at a recruiting fair where you can pick up a pen or a magnet for free. And it’s not a recruiter trained in how to present the best angle on any given open position in the organization.

This book is about real experiences and real people. And that’s why it works.

Whether you’re reading words from Aprilla, Cole, Ivan or Mara, this creative, collaborative collection serves to inspire current—and future—employees.

This book is about empowering employees to serve as cultural ambassadors for your brand.

Your organization may not have a culture book. But what if it did?

If you’re stumped, I suggest you start by requesting your free copy of the Zappos Culture Book.

By liz sheffield
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